Raising Your Spirited Child

Welcome to the Raising Your Spirited Child page. When I first sat down to write the original version of Raising Your Spirited Child, I was a mother of little ones, teaching classes for parents through the Minnesota Early Childhood Family Education Program. At the time, I was frustrated by the existing curriculums and secretly needed to talk with other parents who understood what it was like to live with a child who could scream for thirty minutes because the toast had been cut in rectangles when triangles were expected. The kind of kid who would rather die than take no for an answer and could feel the seams in socks.  The kind of kid the existing parenting books either failed to address or did so in terribly negative terms like explosive, stubborn and too emotional. Terms I was not willing to accept because I realized that re-focused and provided with a little guidance and skill training, these characteristics of intensity, tenacity and sensitivity were traits we value in adults.

In this third edition of Raising Your Spirited Child, you will find solid research based, parent tested practical strategies that truly work. Effective tools to help you keep your cool, focus on strengths, diffuse the meltdowns, establish clear limits, successfully get resistant little bodies dressed, fed, and into bed, select the best school for your child and become a problem-solving family. Chock full of real-life stories you will discover you are not alone. Thousands of other parents have worried about and potentially screamed about the same challenges you face each day. Yet through this book, and the Spirited Child Facebook group have found the tools they needed to create a family where spirit thrives.

By the way, I’m Dr Mary an internationally recognized licensed parent educator, and best-selling author with over one million books in print. My work has been translated into 24 different languages and featured on national and international media sources.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Helping hands are here for you. 

  • Raising Your Spirited Child MORE →
  • One-on-one consultations with me via Zoom or phone MORE →
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  • The Raising Your Spirited Child Facebook Group where you will find tens of thousands of parents who understand and support one another MORE →


Look Inside...

Raising Your Spirited Child - Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Click the image above to review the table of contents for Raising Your Spirited Child.

Raising Your Spirited Child Book Excerpt

Book Excerpt

To give you an introduction into Raising Your Spirited Child, we've included an excerpt.

Raising Your Spirited Child - Advanced Praise

Advanced Praise

Take a look at the positive comments we've received from pediatricians and other authors.


News and Information



Raising your Spirited Child "Raising Your Spirited Child” has now been fully revised with even more helpful insights, stories, heartfelt support and tools to empower you.

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Parenting Tips!

Every week we post parenting tips on either our Facebook page or our blog. Check out the latest tips on children's sleep, tantrums, power struggles, discipline, child development, temperament, spirited children and keeping your cool when your child is losing theirs. We're always open for more suggestions, so feel free to send them our way using our Contact page.

Weekly Parenting Tips!

Get Dr. Mary’s and Lynn’s free, weekly, parenting tips in your email. 


Parent Support Group

In addition, Facebook has a group page started by and for the parents of "Spirited Children".  The group is a closed group (but still accepting new members) where parents look for advice and support from other parents.  Feel free to check it out using the link below.


Consultations & Classes
Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Private Behavioral and Sleep Consultations

Private Baby and Child Behavior and Sleep Consultations

Dr. Mary has helped hundreds of families just like yours.  She provides private consultations on both infant and child behavior and sleep issues.  A one-hour personal session, via phone or Zoom, gives your family an opportunity to discuss the specific issues you are facing.  You will work directly with Dr. Mary to develop a targeted plan that works for your family. Within 24 hours you will receive a written summary of your discussion and your plan.  If you have ever been told or considered your baby to be "fussy" or "high need", Dr. Mary can help you.

"In just one hour on the phone, we were able to gain an entirely new perspective on the issues we were having. You gave us real tools and ideas that we could apply immediately."  -Jason

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Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Parent Child Help

Classes, Webinars and Workshops

For over 35 years Dr. Mary has provided parenting workshops and keynotes throughout the world.  She has a large number of offerings and customizes or creates each session so that it meets the specifics needs of her audience.   Dr. Mary’s speaking style brings audiences to life as they laugh and learn the essentials for effective parenting.

“Mary, I am so appreciative of how you customized your information and remarks to our audience.  You brought important information to the group with humor and poise.  The audience was mesmerized and we got excellent feedback.”  -Merri

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Blog Highlights
Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka & Lynn Jesson from Paidea Child Development Center

Parenting Questions for
Dr. Mary & Lynn

How to stay out of the Red zone

Children synchronize to our stress level.  That is why the best thing you cna do as a parent is take good care of yourself so you can meet the needs of your children.

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Dr. Mary's appearances include:

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